Marine Pollution ControlMarine Pollution Control
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Detroit, MI 48209 USA
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Holland, MI 49424
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Tugboat engineers accused of polluting Lake Huron


Absorbent diapers, a garden hose and a blue bucket were just some of the tools used in a scheme to dump oily bilge water from a Great Lakes tugboat into Lake Huron, causing a slick spotted from the air that was twice the length of a football field.
And now, two engineers from the tug Victory are accused of conspiring to discharge the oil-contaminated water into Lake Huron and other areas of the Great Lakes. They're also accused of releasing the dirty water at night to make it difficult to detect the resulting sheen.
According to a federal grand jury indictment handed up last month, Jeffrey Patrick, chief engineer aboard the Victory, and William Harrigan, first assistant engineer, allegedly released the oily water into Lake Huron from mid-May 2014 through the end of that June. The indictment does not say when or where other discharges occurred.

Congress passes bill ratcheting up Mackinac pipeline safety rules

June 9, 2016

Congress has sent a bill to the president's desk that includes stronger safety measures for Great Lakes pipelines prompted by concerns about the threat of an oil spill from the Enbridge Line 5 gas and oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac.
The Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act unanimously cleared the U.S. Senate in March and the House of Representatives on June 9. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill into law this month.
The legislation, which reauthorizes the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) through 2019, includes provisions that designate the Great Lakes as an "Unusually Sensitive Area" with higher consequences should a spill occur. Pipelines in or near the lakes would be subject to greater safety standards.

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IMO publishes guide to spill response in ice


At 183 pages, Guide to Oil Spill Response in Snow and Ice Conditions provides a unique insight into the issues and strategies surrounding the challenge of spill response in the Arctic. Commissioned by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Arctic Council working group for Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) from a team comprising Owens Coastal Consultants and DF Dickins Associates, it will be supplemented by a companion volume to be issued shortly by IMO that includes the Antarctic and other subarctic areas affected by ice. It can be downloaded here.

The objective of the Arctic version of the IMO guide is to identify and describe those aspects of planning and operations that are directly associated with a response to an Arctic oil spill in ice and snow conditions. Response strategies to deal with Arctic oil spills in summer open-water conditions are not considered in the guide.

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Deepwater spill pollution lingers on seabed


Dirty oil residues from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico remained for years on the seabed, killing wildlife despite large-scale cleanup efforts, a study has revealed.

The study found that in January 2011, nine months after the spill, large patches of oil residue still covered the ocean floor around the spill site. The area had previously been declared clean after the surface of the surrounding waters had been found clean of oil.

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on 20 April 2010 due to human error, causing around 5 million barrels of oil to spill out — with months going by until the leak was capped near the ocean floor.

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County weighing pros and cons of EPA Superfund cleanup of Gelman plume

June 02, 2016
ANN ARBOR, MI — Not all Washtenaw County commissioners are ready to say a federal Superfund cleanup is definitely the way to address the Gelman dioxane plume, but they're open to exploring the option.
Unanswered questions — along with conflicting information yet to be sorted out— held up approval of a resolution Wednesday night to have the county begin moving in the direction of petitioning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to place the Gelman plume on the National Priorities List.

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